Just when you think opponents of the Missouri Taxpayer Relief Act have used about every deceptive tactic possible, they keep coming up with more. With this post, we will begin a series exposing those deceptive, desperate tactics. Buckle up!
I wrote about the distortions of one of the major opposition “members,” the Missourians for Fair Taxation, in Burnham’s Law – Missouri Association of REALTORS®. Another “member” has also been spreading falsehoods in ads running across the state (I blogged about that in Gone with the Wind and the Missouri Broadcasters Association). These blog posts outline the half-truths and outright falsehoods regarding the Missouri Taxpayer Relief Act in an obvious effort to scare people. There is nothing wrong with being opposed to an issue. But there is everything wrong when you have to lie as part of your strategy!
The spokesman for Missourians for Fair Taxation regularly posts misleading information. Let me make this clear: I know and like the spokesman, Scott Charton. I’ve worked with him on other projects. He is good at what he does. What’s not clear is if he actually believes the misleading information he is spreading, or whether his employers are insisting he do so and he wants to just keep his job. The most recent example of misleading information occurred within the last few days.
Yesterday, Scott posted this on Twitter:
@ScottCharton When will backers of the “Almost Everything Tax” shoot straight with MO voters about which of the Unlucky 13 versions they’ll settle on?
On the surface, it may seem to be a fair question. The Let Voters Decide campaign has submitted and had approved thirteen versions of tax reform. Unfortunately for Scott and his employers, they are not able to keep their information straight.
Missourians for Fair Taxation know that, at the time of Scott’s tweet yesterday, there were only two petitions eligible for circulation. Here’s Scott’s tweet from November 29, 2011, acknowledging that fact:
@ScottCharton More monkeyshines from backers of MO’s risky “Almost Everything Tax”; learn more at DeclineToSign.org tinyurl.com/cxd4nsx
Scott should have been aware beforehand – or at least after reading the article he tweeted about – that there are only two versions of the petition eligible for circulation. Are Missourians for Fair Taxation that out of touch with the facts, or are they that bent on deception?
Scott and his employers appear to need a little assistance. On one hand, they don’t seem to be able to find the text of the two petitions. I guess that information is difficult to find when you are so busy trying to develop deceptive information to distort the facts. For the opposition’s convenience, here are the links, which all Missouri voters have been able to view for weeks:
Scott and his employers know – or should know, if they understand how the ballot-initiative process works – that when you actually circulate a petition, you have to have the exact language attached as that approved by the Secretary of State including the language for the Constitutional amendment. Now, we know that Missourians for Fair Taxation are aware that petitions are being circulated. That’s why they have established their deceptive “Decline to Sign” site. Every person asked to sign the petition has the language in front of them. Do Missourians for Fair Taxation truly not know this? Or do they – and are they once more attempting to deceive and create confusion?
So far, the press hasn’t done any in-depth analysis of the false claims; instead, they’ve merely regurgitated the false information. The people of Missouri deserve better from journalists.
As we expose the falsehoods being utilized by the opponents, it’s clear that they are either grossly misinformed and ignorant of the facts, or they are purposely distorting them. Either way, their credibility is very suspect.